Read His Words Before Ours!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I’ve read Jeremiah 29:11 more times that I can remember, and I’ve heard it more times than I’ve read it. I bet many of you can say the same. We all want to claim God has good plans for us, plans for a good future and hope. The deep application of Jeremiah 29:11 is richly rooted in our inheritance from Christ, who Himself is our Hope and Future, but do we really walk in that truth in our everyday lives? For me, I know I’m quick to skip over the eternal riches of Christ, instead wishing for a right-now-fix of “I deserve….”.
Recently, someone I know received several opportunities I had been eyeing for a while. Let me tell you, the richness I have in Christ was the furthest thing from my mind. All I could think about was “Why not me?” Yep, the cloud of comparison infiltrated my heart and mind. I started to believe poisonous questions and lies over deep truth.
You might be familiar with some of those untruths.
What did she do to deserve this over me?
I must not be as good as her.
Now my chance is ruined.
Maybe I need to do (insert action) more (or less).
But let’s not just talk about the times where we knock ourselves. Let’s chat about the times we compare “in reverse”. This type of comparison is equally as untrue and poisonous. Trust me, I know this from personal experience, sadly. We may get to do some great things or receive some incredible blessings and comparison sets in again. I’ve said things like:
I’m finally on her level (or above her).
This is an even better opportunity than she had.
I’m going to exceed what she did.
Ladies, do you know what we do when we compare, whether positively or negatively? We’re telling God how to do His job. Isaiah 45:9 illustrates how the created should not be questioning its Creator.
“Does clay say to the one forming it,
‘What are you making?’”
Neither should we say, “God, you should have made it possible for me to do that” nor “God, thank you for giving me more talent than her.” Instead, with humility, we should be looking at ourselves and at our sisters, especially our “her” as God does.
He sees us as wonderfully crafted treasures.
Psalm 139 beautifully reminds us whose we are.
We belong to God.
Not just me, or you, or even her.
All of us.
We are all His treasures, and we’re fully known by Him.
He created our inward parts and knit us together (verse 13).
It is God who knows and understands our every thought and word (verses 2-5).
We have been “remarkably and wondrously made” (verse 14); we are His “wondrous work”! Not better or worse than anyone. But wondrous!
When comparison begins rearing its head in my life, I remind myself,
“Mari, God made her, therefore she is wondrous. And guess what? He made you too, so that makes you equally wondrous. You are both wonderful treasures!”. You should try this with your “her”. Real truth changes our heart perspective!
Yes! We are wondrously made and intricately crafted as His treasure! For a full picture of how God sees us, let’s consider who we are. In exploring Ephesians 1, we discover all we are chosen to BE. It’s an outstanding list: holy, blameless, adopted, redeemed and forgiven. We’re chosen to receive an incorruptible inheritance, have wisdom and understanding, receive the seal of the Holy Spirit, hear the truth, and receive spiritual blessings and grace. We are chosen to belong to Christ, know God, praise Him, and believe Him at His Word!
This is who we are. This is who she is too.
Let’s make this practical, because it’s easy to say we will view others as God’s treasure when comparison isn’t lurking. But once it arrives, we need readily available tools to help us hold onto God’s unchanging truths over the all-too-sweet lies of comparison.
In case you were wondering, I’m not telling you to do something I haven’t done.
I take the list from the previous paragraph and write it out. (Mine is in the margin of my journaling Bible). When I need to renew my mind about me or her, I go to this list. I first insert my name in each statement (i.e. Mari is chosen to belong to God). Then I start over and insert her name. Friends, there is no way you can do this and not see how we are all priceless treasures of God!
By digging into truth, I realize my friend, and every other “her” in my life has been blessed by God with good opportunities, but He has also blessed me with different opportunities. He treasures her gifts and gives her chances to use them, but this in no way prevents Him from treasuring and blessing me. She is not my competition. She is my sister in Christ. We can shine for the kingdom in our individual, different ways. And we do.
So sisters, let’s all embrace this truth and walk in the freedom of being His handcrafted Treasures!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!